Archive for May 9th, 2012

He purposely strode toward the captain’s tent but halted at the sound of a feminine laugh. Glancing at the Women’s Aid tent, he was riveted by the sight of one of the new relief workers. Although he didn’t know her name, he’d seen her a few days ago when she arrived. Her hair, worn in a tight coil at the base of her skull, was golden blond. He imagined if he fingered the strands they’d feel like silk. He’d never been close enough to catch the color of her eyes, but they appeared to be a light color and her skin a smooth ivory.

She glanced his way, full, pink lips curving up at the corners. Taken by surprise, he quickly tipped his cap and looked ahead, but the delightful vision stayed.

Unlike Hannah, the young woman’s build was petite and delicate, not full and curvy like his best girl. But he’d made a promise to Hannah before he left not to stray. He’d not allow the sight of a pretty face shake his resolve to be true.

After his briefing with the captain, he strode back to see if the aid station had any treats ready for the men. The scent of hotcakes and syrup led him straight under the fly. He scanned the women serving soldiers food but didn’t see her…whatever her name was.

He hastened to his tent to dig out his plate, before the cakes were all gone. He accepted a stack of cakes and a dollop of butter and syrup from a smiling, matronly, gray haired woman, then retreated to his tent to devour his breakfast.

On this bright and clear summer morning, the scents of foliage, cooking fires, and horseflesh drifted through the air. He straightened his uniform and, coffee mug in hand, set out to the field for mail call. He’d written Hannah over a month ago and still hadn’t received a return letter. His regiment had only been stationed here, near Frederick, Maryland, for a couple of weeks, though, so the mail likely hadn’t caught up with him.

Men already stood in line when he reached the field. The post master called names and handed mail to women volunteers to distribute to the men.

She was here. Cole caught his breath at the sight of her. He really had to get his mind on other things. Patting his pocket, he focused on Hannah. He sidled up to one of his corporals.

“I’m running a little late, I see. Did they call anything for me, yet?”

Corporal Jenson smiled. “No, sir. Didn’t hear anything for you.”

“Good.” Cole stood in line patiently waiting as names were called and women handed the men their precious mail.

“Lieutenant Cole Manning,” the baritone voice called out. Cole stepped forward and watched as the post master handed his mail to the very woman who set his heart thumping wildly.

She lifted her gaze over the group of men. He held up his hand, and she smiled and angled her way toward him.

His breath caught as she stepped to his side. Tipping his cap, he accepted two posts. Their hands briefly touched, and a jolt shot through him. “Thank you, ma’am.” A delicate scent of lilac and woman settled over him, and he found it difficult to say more.

She smiled, and her amber gaze caught his. Such beautiful eyes. He felt lost.

“Good day to you, lieutenant.” She nodded toward the letters clutched between his fingers. “Hope it’s comforting news from home.”

He studied the first post. “It’s from Hannah.” Relief surged through him.

“Hannah?” She quirked her lips.

“My best girl back home in Grantley. I plan to ask for her hand right after the war ends.”

She nodded, but her gaze appeared pained. “How wonderful! I’ll leave you to read your posts.”

“Wait.” He couldn’t allow her to leave until he’d learned her name. “I saw you in camp the other day but never got an introduction.”

“Well…” She glanced around. “It’s not entirely proper for me to introduce myself, but…” She smiled with an endearing, mischievous expression. “I’m Miss Hirsch.”

“How do you do, Miss Hirsch? Lieutenant Manning, at your service.” He tipped his cap and bowed formally.

She laughed. “Very pleased to meet you, sir.” She motioned to the mail again. “I’m sure you’re anxious to see what Hannah has to say.”

Cole followed Miss Hirsch with his gaze until she was occupied delivering mail to another soldier, then found a spot under an oak tree to read his posts.

Cole’s Promise available at The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=4821

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Coles-Promise-Love-Letters-ebook/dp/B007VRKQ04/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1334931371&sr=1-4

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1110282244?ean=2940014529969

All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cole039spromise-780707-158.html

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